God spared me martyrdom for a reason: Uzhunnalil
Credit – mattersindia.com
, a Salesian priest who was released from the captivity of Islamic militants last month, says God has a plan in sparing him the gift of martyrdom.
In an exclusive interview with , and photographer Anil Joseph Mathew, the 59-year-old priest shared his experience during the 18-month captivity in Yemen and the rousing welcome he received in India. He met them at Don Bosco Vaduthala, Ernakulam, on October 2.
: The response I got was beyond my expectation and I feel happy that I am loved this much and I am thankful to every one for their affection and prayers. The Central government, State Government, all political outfits, the Catholic Church in India and especially in Kerala, every one gave me a rousing and loving welcome. I am thankful to all of you and the God almighty as well.
Yes, a bit tiredness is there, but that does not matter. I am diabetic and it is the main problem as of now, apart from that I feel healthy. For the last couple of days, I was unable to monitor my weight but it is in the region of 63-65 kg and I am thankful that all including the media have been receptive and understanding when they are with me and I thank them in return.
It was brought to my attention that not only my family (Uzhunnalil and my Salesian brothers) but people of many nations have thought of me, remembered me and prayed for my wellbeing and release from captivity. It was this knowledge of overwhelming compassion and love towards me that made me realize that I was not just a Catholic priest from Kerala but rather a property of the entire humanity.
When God spared me from the gift of martyrdom, he had a definite plan for me. God had a plan in sending me to Yemen. During my days of abduction and captivity he had a plan, and even now he has a plan for me. I have to act according to his plans. How do I worry about his plans or regret it? I am thankful to God and my fellow humans for my life. Yes, as a normal human, there was fear and concern in my mind during my abduction. But during my captivity the abductors showed signs of compassion and they never told me that they were going to kill me. Hence the fear of death was never present.
My captors never told me that they wanted to kill me and I was never made aware of any such plans. I was being kept in closed confinement and was not at all aware of the days or dates. I came to know of the dates only when they recorded the videos. But after my release I heard about it from my fellow Salesians and why would I comment about something fictitious.
My captures kept me in closed doors but I was getting sunlight through the windows. I was not aware of anything happening outside my room let alone the world. It was only on the day of my release I had a glimpse of the world outside.
Our Lord filled me with Hope always. During my captivity prayers were my only solace. From Dawn to dusk I kept on praying. It does not mean that I knelt on the ground, folded my hands and prayed aloud but rather I prayed constantly and relentlessly in my mind, I never ceased to pray silently. Without bread and wine, without vestments, or texts I recited the Holy Mass in my mind. Offering Mass and praying relentlessly every day was what kept me going on. It gave me a lot of strength, faith and above all Hope.
This gave me the chance to deepen my faith and Hope in Christ. Spiritually it was a great test and yet it strengthened me but psychologically any captivity was a torture.
That depends up on my seniors, wherever they send me I have to work. I am first and foremost a missionary. It is my duty to serve. Whether it is Yemen or anywhere else in the world I will serve.
No comments as of now.
Realize that God has a plan for all of us. It is in our interest that such a plan is made and we all must submit to it.
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